Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics Saturday 8th October 2011

Gig Details

Band : Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics

Date : Saturday 8th October 2011

Time : 10:30pm – 11:30pm

Venue : The William Street Bird

I returned to the William Street Bird with Odette Mercy and her Soul Atomics on Saturday the 8th of October for an evening celebrating a diversity in original music. We were sharing the bill on this night with The Love Junkies, an original dirty blues grunge act that is having an impact on the Perth original scene at the moment.

The show started for us at 3:00pm in the afternoon with the sound check n at the venue. we were really happy and excited to get the opportunity to do a sound check as the Bird had a new sound operator in there who we had never worked with before. This check served two purposes for us, firstly to get to meet the new sound operator Chris who is a great guy and really easy to work with, and secondly a chance to have our dep. drummer, Wade Saunders, have a last run through of all the transitions between songs. This sound check went really well and we all left feeling good about the set we’d be playing that evening and with the levels we had in our fold backs.

The doors open at the William Street Bird quite early and they have DJ entertainment happening in the early parts of the evening. I arrived there at around 8:30pm and after dropping my things off headed off to grab something to eat and chill out a little before the gig. At 9:30pm I heard The Love Junkies start their set from where I was having dinner down the road, they produced a high energy set of original music that really got the crowd involved and interested. The only down side to the set was probably the overall volume which, unless you had earplugs, was probably a little on the louder side. The quality of their original tunes and the tightness of the group was absolutely phenomenal and are definitely a group that if you get a chance you should go and see them in the future.

At 10:20pm The Love Junkies finished their set and the Soul Atomics took to the the stage. We began our set just after 10:30pm with the familiar sounds of the “Soul Atomics Theme”. Our band looked a little different tonight than the usual lineup with both our drummer, Zen Fusion, trumpeter, Jimmy Murphy, and guitarist, Jamie Searle all being unavailable due to other prior commitments. Filling in for them on this evening were Wade Saunders, Al McEvoy and Karl Hiller, our horn section comprised of two saxes for this show with myself on alto saxophone and Al McEvoy on tenor.

The band launched from “Theme into Up to You” with Wade Saunders not missing a beat between the two songs which have totally different feels. All of the solos for this gig were kept short as we did have specific time restrictions placed on us that we had keep to at all costs. Despite this shortened solo format Karl Hiller launched into a killer guitar solo which got the crowd grooving, the backing horns provided from half way through the solo added that increased level of intensity before Odette Mercy brought the melody back in.

The band continued on their opening sequence of of songs with the hard grooving soul tune “You’ve Got Soul” this guitar driven number took the atmosphere in the room to a whole new level of soul defying goodness. Odette Mercy charmed the crowd throughout the song with her conversation with the the crowd and encouragement of the band to push harder into the groove. The groove was continually laid down by a strong foundation from Wade Saunders and Jon Fernandes with Karl Hiller’s guitar solo being the icing on the cake. The band pushed right through the tune and into “You Won’t Find Me” with the melody presented up a tone in the horns for the first 4 bars before dropping to the original key and the catchy guitar riff taking over control of the song. At the conclusion of this shortened version of this hard grooving soulful tune Karl Hiller led the band into “Box ME In” a tune that featured the tenor saxophone of Alistair McEvoy. The intro of this tune, driven largely by guitar with hits coming from the bass and drums kicks into a high energy groove after 8 bars with the horns presenting a catchy melodic riff that is repeated throughout the tune. Alistair McEvoy carved it up on the tenor saxophone with a powerful solo that got the crowd involved and dancing hard at the front of the dance floor.

The end of the song lead straight into “What’ll I Have To Do?” a tune that has become a favourite with both the band and the crowd. In this song Miss Odette Mercy is singing about what does she have to do to get her man back after she has treated him badly…the answers we get on some nights are quite interesting (sometimes they are very lame at he same time). Tonight’s gig had a great vibe and so we were hoping for some good answers from the crowd…the answers weren’t overly entertaining this night but the body gestures that went with them sure were. The final one of three I remember very vividly of a lady informing Odette that she need to “work it” and well let’s just say I will leave the rest to your imagination on what went with that.

Wade Saunders lead the band into the song “Wait in Vain” one of the tunes we recorded earlier in the year with trombonist Fred Wesley. This tune is driven largely by the snare of the drums as well as distinct guitar riff. The conclusion of this song leads straight into the hard hitting “Baby” which features a horn soli introduction and some great harmonised horn stabs in the breakdown before the bridge of the song.

The Soul Atomics then took the insensity of the set down for a tune with “When You Say My Name” a ballad that I love playing. The lyrics in this song I believe are so heartfelt and that when combined with the sensitivity of the guitar riffs and the light horns really create a beautiful atmosphere for couples to grow that little bit closer.

The set continued to build in its intensity from here through to the end of the evening with the tune “Gold Digger” which featured Karl Hiller on guitar and Alistair McEvoy on the Tenor Saxophone. The song segues straight away into the beginning of “Tell it Like it is” and normally I have to do a quick saxophone change from tenor to alto at this point. Due to having two saxes on the gig I didn’t have to do a sax change at all – this was very nice for me! Our set continued with segues between “Tell it Like it is” into “Fear of the Feeling” with “How Many Times?” to finish with.

At the end of the set we were greeted with a roaring ovation and the crowd wanting more songs to be played, unfortunately due to time restrictions we weren’t able to indulge them with anymore songs.

A huge thanks must go to the William Street Bird for having us there to play, we really enjoyed ourselves. For those interested our next gig is coming up on Sunday the 16th October down in Fremantle at the Fremantle Arts Centre from 2 – 4pm, it’s a free gig so we hope that you can get down and support us as we do our thing.

View a map of the location of the Fremantle Arts Centre



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